Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Dale Eaglesham: An Ode

Is Dale the hardest working penciller in comics, or what? GodDAMN. Panels like this one (Sand’s bedroom from JSA #14) take me back to those days when you could seriously brood over a comic book page for hours. His choice here, of showing us only Sandy’s back while foregrounding what should really be the background, is subtle and brilliant. The panel literally “turns its back” on the (usually crappy) figure-centric art that dominates much of the field of superhero comics these days. And there’s wit in these details, too. Just look at them. (The hookah is a nice touch.) I actually find myself wondering what books those are on Sand’s shelf, what records he’s listening to… Or check out the slippers tucked under the bed in the panel where he chats with Powergirl. Or check out the monkey and the tree roots in the two-page spread of Gog blasting Infinity Man in the Congo (the monkey shows up again on page 14). Or, though I don’t have a scan of it, lose yourself for a few minutes in the two-page spread of the JSA sitting around their clubhouse table with Ma Hunkel serving coffee (Jay Garrick will have tea, thank you very much). There’s so damn many members now that they have to pull in all manner of extra seating, including a stool for Mr. Terrific and a 1950s deck chair for Mr. America. This is how you create a world, people. Eaglesham, you fucking ROCK.

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